Toreros Look to Close out Perfect October Wednesday

Chloe Ferrari.

Oct. 29, 2013

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WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE: The eighth-ranked University of San Diego women’s volleyball team (17-3, 9-2 WCC) will return to the friendly confines of the Jenny Craig Pavilion on Wednesday for a 5 p.m. showdown with Pepperdine University.  The Toreros will then hit the road on Saturday, as they head to Los Angeles to take on the Loyola Marymount University Lions in a 1 p.m. WCC match.    

LAST TIME OUT: The Toreros posted another 2-0 record this past week, extending their season-high winning streak to eight.  The Toreros picked up back-to-back sweeps over Saint Mary’s College and the University of the Pacific this past week.  In Thursday’s sweep over the Gaels, both Alaysia Brown and Taylor Hollins recorded 10 kills a piece with Hollins adding in 10 digs to record a double-double. Chloe Ferrari had nine kills, while both Sandra Lozic and Katie Hoekman chipped in with eight kills, and C’era Oliveira recorded a team-best 16 digs to pace the defense. Rachel Alvey (20 assists) and Jianna Bonomi (19 assists and 10 digs) helped steer the USD offense to a .224 team attack percentage.  Then in Saturdays win over the Tigers, Ferrari led all players with her 12 kills on 17 swings, while only committing two attack errors, to hit for a .588 clip. Both Brown and Hollins recorded 11 kills apiece with Hollins adding in 14 digs to record her fifth double-double of the season. Bonomi recorded 25 assists, and had seven digs, while Oliveira recorded a match-best 18 digs in the win. As a team, USD hit .256.

TOREROS MOVE UP TO NO. 8:  The University of San Diego women’s volleyball team moved up one spot to No. 8 in the latest American Volleyball Coaches Association top- 25 poll. This marks the eighth consecutive week that the Toreros have appeared in the top-25, and marks USD’s fifth week all together in the top-10, having reached as high as No. 2 on Sept. 16. Neither Pepperdine or Loyola Marymount are ranked in any of the top-25 polls.  The only other WCC team to be ranked is league-leader BYU, who is No. 21 in the latest AVCA top-25 poll. 

SCOUTING THE WAVES: Pepperdine enters the week with an overall record of 11-8, and they hold a 5-6 record in the WCC after defeating Gonzaga in five sets, and then taking down Portland in four sets this past week.  The Waves lead the all-time series at 38-20, but USD has won the last three match-ups including a 3-0 win in Malibu back on Oct. 5.  The Waves offense is paced by junior outside hitter Katie Messing, who leads the team with 258 kills (3.63 kps), while hitting for a .278 clip.  The floor leader for Pepperdine is sophomore setter Becca Strehlow, who has recorded 639 assists (10.31 aps) in helping steer the Waves offense to a team attack percentage of .254.
SCOUTING THE LIONS: Loyola Marymount enters the week with an overall record of 11-9, and they hold a 6-5 mark in the WCC after defeating Portland 3-1, and sweeping Gonzaga this past week.  The Lions lead the all-time series at 36-28, but the Toreros have won the last 15 meetings, including a thrilling 3-2 come-from-behind win on Oct. 3 in San Diego.  LMU’s offensive attack is paced by senior outside hitter Kathleen Luft, who has recorded 264 kills (3.83 kps), while hitting for a .262 clip.  The floor leader for LMU is sophomore setter Hannah Tedrow, who has recorded 632 assists (8.66 aps), while helping steer the Lions offense to a team attack percentage of .244. 

FERRARI HAS ANOTHER GOOD WEEK:  Senior middle hitter Chloe Ferrari helped lead USD to a 2-0 record, this past week, with wins over Saint Mary’s and Pacific.  Ferrari helped USD run its winning streak to a season high, eight, with two wins.  Ferrari paced the USD offense with 21 kills and hit for a .421 clip, and she recorded four blocks.  Ferrari began the week with a nine-kill, four dig and four block performance in a 3-0 win over Saint Mary’s to move USD into sole possession of second place in the WCC.  Ferrari then kept things rolling in Saturday’s sweep over Pacific.  In this match, Ferrari recorded a match-high 12 kills, while hitting for a .588 clip, and she added in three digs.

GOING STREAKING: San Diego is in the midst of a season-high eight match winning streak, after sweeping both Saint Mary’s and Pacific this past week.   This current streak began with USD’s thrilling 3-2 come-from-behind win over Loyola Marymount on Oct. 3.  During this streak, USD has only dropped three sets, while hitting for a .281 clip as a team, and holding their opponents to a .181 clip.  Five players have recorded at least 60 or more kills, paced by Chloe Ferrari’s 94, followed by Alaysia Brown’s 88, Taylor Hollins’ 77, Sandra Lozic’s 73, and Katie Hoekman’s 62.

THE WCC STANDINGS SHAKE-UP: After a great week of volleyball, USD has now moved into sole possession of second place, and thanks to Saint Mary’s defeating BYU this past Saturday, the Toreros are now just one match behind the Cougars for first place.  Almost all of what USD needed to happen last week did.  Now the Toreros are in a dog fight down the stretch, as they still have seven more matches with four being played in the Jenny Craig Pavilion.  The Toreros however remain in a must win situation, as they look to complete a undefeated October with Wednesday’s match against Pepperdine.  

RPI UPDATE: San Diego’s current RPI is sitting at No. 18 after posting a 2-0 record this past week.  USD needs to be in he top16 in order to have a good shot at hosting the first and second rounds of the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2004.  All the Toreros can do is keep on winning, and then see where they stand at seasons end.  But as of now, things are looking up, as USD moved up two spots form last week’s No. 20 RPI ranking.  

BLACKJACK: San Diego had three players record 21 kills this past week, which propelled the Toreros to a perfect 2-0 record.  Chloe Ferrari, Alaysia Brown and Taylor Hollins all recorded 21 kills, with Ferrari hitting for a .421 clip, Hollins posting back-to-back double-doubles, and Brown recording four blocks.

A LOOK AT OCTOBER: After an incredible run in September, which saw USD defeat four ranked opponents, including top-ranked USC, and skyrocketing to No. 2 in the national rankings, the Toreros looked to better themselves in October.  And from a statistical standpoint, they have done just that.  So far in October, USD has only dropped three sets, while going 8-0.  Chloe Ferrari continues to be the most impressive player in the WCC, as she has racked up 94 kills, while hitting at an astronomical .494 clip, and she has 21 blocks.  Also impressive this month, Alaysia Brown with 88 kills, and hitting at a .305 clip, while Katie Hoekman has recorded 62 kills, and is leading the blocking effort with 22, six of them solo.  C’era Oliveira has been all over the place defensively, as she has racked up 125 digs (4.63 dps) and Jianna Bonomi (212 assists) and Rachel Alvey (128 assists) have helped steer the Torero offense to a .281 attack percentage.  USD will look to close out October with a 9-0 mark on Wednesday, when they play host to Pepperdine at 5 p.m.

TOREROS TABBED SECOND IN WCC PRESEASON POLL: The defending West Coast Conference Co-Champion University of San Diego women’s volleyball team was picked to finish second in a preseason WCC Coaches poll.  BYU was chosen to win the 2013 WCC title after capturing five of the nine possible first place votes and 74 points overall. Just one point shy of the Cougars, USD tallied 73 points and three of the remaining first place votes. The Cougars and Toreros tied for first place in last year’s regular season.  Saint Mary’s College earned 69 points and two first place votes, while Pepperdine was picked fourth with 58 points. Loyola Marymount University earned 43 points and Santa Clara University tallied 42 points to finish fifth and sixth, respectively. Newcomer University of the Pacific earned 33 points to finish seventh, while the University of San Francisco (32 points), Gonzaga University (16 points) and the University of Portland (10 points) rounded out the preseason poll.